Jeremy Corbyn today as I write this made his first big speech to the Trade Union Congress since becoming leader of the Labour Party. Maybe some other time I will write about just how shambolic it was and what it taught us about his leadership. But this article is to concentrate on one thing that came through again and again. His complete dislike for the free market. He claimed it had failed in housing (Although many involved will tell you there is no free market in that.) He even blamed a fire in China on the free market. China being a bastion of the free market of course.
The free market it seems is to blame for everything. His call for a ‘planned economy’ during the leadership contest is a call to crush the free market with an all powerful authoritarian state agenda. Right now Corbyn’s supporters cheer when they hear this sort of rhetoric. I sometimes wonder if they actually know what they are cheering when they applaud the demonisation of the free market. I mean imagine no free market. Anything outside of the state being crushed. Is there any aspect of our lives that is not free market?
Social media for a start. Twitter and Facebook for example may be free to use, but the only reason they are is because there value in terms of stocks and shares and advertising is such a success, that’s right, of the awful free market, Imagine having no use today of Twitter of Facebook because you elect a Government who hates the free market. Imagine no independent supermarkets, no Morrisons or Asda or Tesco. Without them there would be no Aldi’s or Waitrose competing on price or quality as the see it. You can only get food where you are told by the state and in what quantities your are given.
Imagine only state run banks. Now yes, I know, bankers are not that popular right now and one or two are state run due to running themselves badly. But there are so many out there, so much choice, imagine having none, only being able to draw money from where the state tells you that you can at a set amount imposed by the state. No freedom or choice, no free market. and what about your music? No Amazon or Apple downloads, no Spotify, no HMV, no independent sellers of classic vinyl. Just music approved by the state. with no music industry, no X-Factor in the run up to Christmas, no free market.
What about gamers? There would be none without the free market. Imagine no businesses selling Nintendo or Sony consoles, no games, just limited availability designated by the state. The internet restricted according to state control, Certainly no blogs from people like me but limited access to state approved websites only due to no free market. Imagine no commercial TV or radio, no choice, no Sky, no Virgin Media, just limited state approved programming and propaganda. Imagine no mobile phone providers, no 3G or 4G, no smartphones, no EE, No Orange, No Vodaphone. No means of sharing photos of your nights out or your children enjoying themselves. No baby pictures or pictures of cute cats. Just basic phones with limited availability approved by the state. No free market
Imagine no fashion or sportsware stores. No option of a bit of retail therapy. No chance to join the January sales, a promotion only available precisely because we live in a free market. Imagine only a limited number of Charity shops to get some bargains because only those sanctioned by the state,could operate. Imagine no independent book shops. No Waterstones, controversial novels banned because the state may not approve.No more late night openings as excitement about a big book launch comes about, just a dour selection approved by the state. No free market
I could list a whole range of areas. Cars, DIY stores, bookmakers, pubs, bars, nightclubs, restaurants, the cinema industry, theater, fast food joints, Sport, especially the FA premiere League, even you local car boot sale all come about because we have a free market demand for them. Now yes, even in a Jeremy Corbyn world, not everything would be crushed because even Jeremy Corbyn cannot turn back the clock on everything. But in the vast majority of our lives the free market serves us far better than the state ever will. It provides choice, freedom, jobs and opportunity, especially for those with business minds. So I have no problem saying I support the free market and enterprise, it is a very good thing and I definitely do not want a Prime Minister who is so clearly against it.